Results 375 to 391 of 441
Thread: India Badminton
05-19-2013, 12:00 PM #375
I agree. Even though Akshay/Pranav performed excellently against the Liu/Qiu, the Indonesian pair will still be good enough for them. I just expect a good fight from Indian MD pair and nothing more. If they win, it will be a great pleasant upset.
Though Linda seems better than Sindhu, the result could be other way around. I am expecting Sindhu's win tomorrow.
Ashwini/Pradnya will give a decent fight to Greysia Polii and partner, but I don't really expect them to win yet. Ashwini / Pradnya will be a good force a year later. They just need some experience. I am really impressed by Pradnya's game.
XD should be a one sided show with Liliyana Natsir and partner being in great form.
I am expecting 50-50 chances in MS, either Anand Pawar or Kashyap plays.
Overall, 4-1 or 3-2 in favor of INA. 0-5, if India performs very poorly.
05-19-2013, 01:10 PM #376
I was expecting Ahsan / Hendra to play MD. But its Pratama / Saputro. Never seen them play before, but I am sure they'd be good. INA seem to be preserving the big ones for China, I guess. This should be an interesting contest.
05-19-2013, 01:20 PM #377
Probably giving Pratama/Saputro the chance to gain some experience against unknown players. The win should also give them a certain boost in confidence.
05-20-2013, 06:27 PM #378
Though India lost in both the encounters with china and indonesia, i have certainly found few good doubles players who are lesser known to everybody.. Akshay and pranav are good as well as WD pair. Infact, pradnya is brilliant compared to Aswini. Yesterday, all the mistakes were done by Aswini and pradnya played excellently. WD pair fought excellently well against Indonesian pair.
Sindhu - Still not yet matured. But she played brilliantly against wang yihan taking one game from her. Every country has 2 or 3 players in this tournament. India has only one an hence the consequences. They should have thought about it .
Upcoming tournament for indian players to participate is Thailand open . Many young players had registered their names . I wish them all the best .
05-25-2013, 12:54 AM #379
Interview with Tarun Kona – A rising star of Indian badminton
Tarun Kona is one of the rising stars of Indian badminton. This young powerful smasher of the shuttlecock has made his mark in both men’s doubles and mixed doubles. Excerpts from a tete-a tete with him:
Q. How tough has the loss against China been in the Sudirman Cup?
Well, the loss against China was disappointing indeed because all the players had worked hard in the build up to the Sudirman Cup. There were quite a few positives from the tie as well. Sindhu played really well against Wang Yihan and almost scored a point for us. Akshay and Pranav had a good chance in the men’s doubles as well.
Q. Why is there such a huge gap between India and China/Indonesia?
I don’t think there is a lot of gap between India and Indonesia/China because if you look at the results lately, Saina and Sindhu have been beating the Chinese players. Even Kashyap won his match against Rumbaka and has beaten Chen Long in the Indonesian open last year. When it comes to women’s doubles, Ashwini and Pradnya have beaten Ma Jin and Tang Jinhua of China in Malaysia in January. In mixed doubles, me and Ashwini have played some close matches against the Indonesian pairs, as well as Korean pairs. So overall if you look at it, it all boils down to who plays well on that particular day. Even against Indonesia, we had our chances as Kashyap had won his match and we had our hopes tied on Sindhu and on the women’s doubles match. Sindhu had beaten her opponent in January, so we were confident. In women’s doubles, we lost two close games. Therefore, I feel we could have pulled it off against Indonesia but we were just unlucky.
Q. What effect did Saina Nehwal’s absence have on the team?
Yeah, it was definitely a blow when we came to know that Saina wasn’t playing because Saina is Saina. The Chinese and all the others fear playing her. So it was quiet a setback for us, but Sindhu played well.
Q. How is Ashwini as a senior partner?
Ashwini has a lot of experience ; she reads the game well, which kind of helps us during the match. She is the one who does the talking during the match as in doubles, one of the partners has to do the talking. She calms me down during tense situations in a match. I need to learn that from her.
Q. Girls are generally slower than boys. Is that frustrating sometimes on court?
In mixed doubles, the girls, in general, are very good at the net and they create openings for the guy to finish. Therefore, role of the girl is very important in mixed doubles. Well, I think Ashwini has one of the hardest smashers in the game, and is fastest mover when compared to other girls, so it’s not frustrating for me at all.
Q. Do you think doubles and mixed doubles deserve more support and attention?
The doubles scene has definitely improved. The Badminton Association of India is sending us for more tournaments and it’s good. Definitely, doubles and mixed doubles should be given more importance as only then the juniors will take up doubles from an early age. In Indonesia and China, all the players focus on doubles from the age of 14 or less, but it’s only in India that all of us start off playing singles and shift to doubles only after our junior category is over, which is at around 19. So, kids should be encouraged to take up doubles at a young age and given the right training from say 14. Even the media needs to cover doubles in a better way. For example, I and Ashwini beat the world number nine in Germany, in March and it wasn’t highlighted at all. Ashwini and Pradnya beat the Chinese world number six in Malaysia. If the coverage improves, the younger lot will be encouraged to take up doubles at an early age. This is what I feel.
Q. Why do you think Indian players haven’t yet made a mark in mixed doubles in the international circuit?
Well I think we are still young (all of us are 24 or less) and have lots to improve on. In the last 3-4 months, the training has changed. Gopi sir and all the other coaches are working hard on us. Gopi sir has changed our training program. It’s more intense and its turning out quite well. We are focusing more on consistency and power and it’s helping us a lot. I am sure, within the next year or so, you will definitely see better results from all the doubles players.
Q. What’s your training schedule like?
We basically train for 5 hours a day. We have on court training from 8:30 to 10:30 in the morning, which is followed by another on court session from 3 to 4:30 pm. Then, we have a gym session from 5 to 6 on Tuesday, Thusrday and Saturday, and on the other two days, apart from the two on court sessions, we have another on court session from 6-7 in the evening. Wednesday evenings are off and so is Sunday.
Q. How often do you practice with Ashwini?
Ashwini comes to Hyderabad whenever the national camps are on and camps are on almost throughout the year. Apart from that, when there’s a break between the camps I go to Bangalore and train with her under Tom sir.
Q. In men’s doubles, what targets have you and Arun set for this year?
Currently, me and Arun are ranked 38 in the world and our aim is to break into the top 25 by the end of this year. As far as mixed doubles is concerned, we are 31 right now and we aim to break into the top 20 by the end of the year.
Q. What are your strengths in the game? If you were to pick out one best quality of both your partners, what will they be?
Well, my strong point is my net game, as in doubles there has to be a play maker who sets up the rally for the partner to finish. As I have a good net game, my role is to see that my partner gets an opening to finish off the rally. I am lucky to have partners who have very hard smashes. Even in our mixed doubles matches, we don’t play the conventional style where the guy is at the back and the girl in front. It’s different for us as; Ashwini has a very hard smash and I am good at the net. So more often than not, she’s at the back and I am at the net. Apart from this, Ashwini has improved her net game a lot and I am working on improving my smashes and back court play. Another thing is that I and Ashwini talk a lot about the game, so we kind of discuss about various pairs, and how they play and all.
05-29-2013, 01:58 AM #380
Changing training trends in Indian badminton – Part 1
Physical training in Indian badminton has remained a grey area for decades, and although the expertise available now is better than it ever was, one wonders if there are aspects to training that the Chinese, for instance, use to great effect, and are unknown outside of that country.
In the early years of Indian badminton, the most obvious deficiency was physical. Players such as TN Seth, Suresh Goel, Nandu Natekar and others were celebrated as artists, but were unable to match the best opponents of their times in the fitness department. Fitness routines consisted of a few rounds of jogging and shadow play; weight training was unheard of even until the early 1970s.
Former Asian champion Dinesh Khanna – easily the fittest Indian player of his generation – remembers how his friend Suresh Goel, a magician on the court, would fool the team coach by wetting his T-shirt with water, to show that he had completed a run although he hadn’t. The first team coach to introduce physical training was Darshan Kumar Tandon, who put the team through a strenuous session before its 1969 Thomas Cup tie against Indonesia. Tandon got the team to do hill and desert runs, and the players got into such good shape that they took two matches off the formidable Indonesian team at Jaipur.
The first player to take weight training seriously was Prakash Padukone. As a young boy, he had watched Rudy Hartono doing a skipping routine at a team hotel in Jabalpur, and the experience transformed Padukone’s attitude to fitness. In 1977, he and Syed Modi trained with the Indonesian team in Jakarta, and that radically changed Padukone’s career. The most important lesson he learnt was in weight training, of which little was known or practised in India.
Badminton is among the most complicated sports in physical training, for the sheer complexity of movements the body goes through. In few other sports do we see the body requiring the range of motion that it does in badminton – for it moves not just on the ground, but also in the air. Explosiveness is perhaps the single most important physical attribute in a player, and to develop it requires a fine understanding of both the body and the loads it can be subjected to.
The first coach to bring extreme methods into Indian badminton was the Chinese coach Zhao Min, who was associated with the Indian team from 1990 to 1994. Zhao introduced a regimen that was so intense, few could survive it. But those who did went on to achieve international success. Pullela Gopi Chand was part of that bunch of players whose career went on the upswing following the intensity of that training.
U Vinod, one of the best doubles players India has produced, remembers that training vividly. “It was very very tough,” he says. “We did extremely heavy weights. It certainly helped me. We would do half-squats of 150 or 160 kilos. I’ve even gone up to 180 kilos on the half-squats, and full-squats of 120 kilos. It was intense training, and your body breaks down. In the initial period, it was totally unacceptable to the body. I had severe body pain and swelling of the joints. It was killing. Many in the team could not take it. But those who did, went on to do well internationally. When you are subjected to such intensity, you actually enjoy playing on court, because it becomes so much easier. You lose fear. It breaks you down physically and emotionally, and then you slowly start accepting it.”
Unfortunately, Zhao Min’s expertise wasn’t used by India, and there was too much local politicking that eventually drove him away. For much of the next decade, Indian badminton groped in the dark. A few individuals, like Gopi, figured out their own path, but the team did not have the resources or the expertise to follow contemporary training methods.
Things have gradually turned around, and there is a lot more local expertise available. Indians who have studied sports science and nutrition abroad have brought in a wealth of knowledge and experience to training methodology. With greater advance in sports science, methods of training – not to mention the critical area of sports nutrition — have changed radically. The methods of Zhao Min might seem almost crude today – but have the Chinese themselves deviated from that path? What exactly is it they do that makes them better than anyone else?
05-29-2013, 06:53 AM #381
Changing training trends in Indian badminton – Part 2
The one question nobody has been able to answer satisfactorily thus far is the question of race. Are East Asians genetically privileged for a sport such as badminton? Conversely, are Indians naturally disadvantaged? This question has a direct bearing on training, which we will examine in a minute.
To those who don’t believe in the nature-over-nurture theory, the question of race might seem irrelevant, perhaps even dangerous. But any top-level badminton player will tell you that race is the perhaps the single decisive factor in this sport. Just consider the evidence: if we take the All England (men’s singles) as an indicator, no non-Asian has won the title in the last ten years. Since 1980, when the game became truly international, only four Europeans have won the title – all of them from the traditional powerhouse Denmark. Most winners have come from China, Indonesia and Malaysia. This pattern holds true for all events in the sport.
In short, there is overwhelming evidence to show that, racially, East Asians are built for badminton – even a cursory glance will show that they are more explosive than any other race. Europeans, on the other hand, have their own distinct advantages, such as height and natural strength.
As Anup Sridhar, former India No.1, who played two seasons for a Danish club, says: “Europeans are naturally strong, while (East) Asians tend to be lighter. They don’t need to do as much gym work as us. Yet, I see them lifting very heavy weights these days. Like I recall Lin Dan was bench-pressing 65 kilos half-an-hour before his match in the Asian Games team championships semifinals.”
With the game becoming faster, even minor differences tend to get exacerbated, and for Indians in particular, the physical aspect of the game is a particular challenge. Sport science in India was for long a neglected subject, and it’s only in recent times that greater expertise is available. Methods have undergone a shift, and what was once considered absolute truth is no longer accepted without question. For instance, most assume that working with heavier weights tends to improve power and explosiveness, but this theory has its detractors.
Deckline Leitao, Performance Enhancement Specialist at the Padukone Academy, believes badminton players only need to work with moderate weights rather than heavy weights (‘moderate’ and ‘heavy’ being relative terms, of course) to minimise the chance of injuries. Deckline classifies heavy weights as those you can do a maximum of six reps; while moderate would mean up to 12 reps.
“The Chinese can afford to do heavy weight training because there are so many of them; if one breaks down, there is a replacement available. With us, that’s not the case. When I talk of moderate weights, I don’t mean a reduction in the intensity. The reps are moderate, the intensity is not. The question we have to ask is: ‘is the training relevant to badminton?’ We should be more concerned with functional strength. Building muscle and building strength are two things…. to build strength, you need higher weights, with lower reps. But we should be focussing on building power, because that’s a combination of strength and speed. We actually need power, rather than pure strength, because strength without speed is useless in badminton.”
Deckline advocates training that will enable a player to play at maximum intensity on court, rather than tire him off it and reduce his on-court intensity. Views vary with trainers too, and it’s hard for one philosophy to dominate. Players will gravitate to the trainer they are most comfortable with.
Increasingly, it is becoming evident that a common programme cannot work, because individuals have different body types, and therefore require personalised training. HS Prannoy, for instance, is cautious about advocating any one theory that will fit all players. The task becomes even more complicated if an injury occurs. Prannoy believes it’s hard to lay down one principle; that even heavy weights to build explosiveness might be counter-productive. “I used to do half-squats with 150 or 160 kilos,” he says. “But you find that, with heavier weights sometimes, you tend to get more bulky, and hence you might move slowly on court. Explosiveness is important, so it’s probably better to do half-squats with 80 or 90 kilos, but with quicker repetitions. I think it varies from one individual to another.”
Where does that leave Indians in general? The consensus is that Indians have neither the natural explosiveness of the East Asians, nor the height or strength of Europeans. All of this obviously means additional work required to build up the body to a level where it is capable of matching international standards. Few Indians have the knowledge or the experience to guide young players in this area.
Prakash Padukone, the first Indian to achieve success worldwide, was a votary of using native Indian strengths to offset the disadvantages. “No matter how much you train, you cannot match the pace or the explosiveness of the East Asians,” Padukone once said. “You obviously have to work hard physically, so that you can match at least 80 percent of their speed. Indians have certain natural advantages: the wrist is flexible, for instance, and that helps you play more deceptive strokes. So we have to use our ability in precision, courtcraft and deception to counter the difference in pace and explosiveness.”
06-04-2013, 03:08 PM #382
Discipline is the key to success, says Arif
The Hindu, VIJAYAWADA, June 4, 2013
The septuagenarian, in his 42 years of coaching, had come late just a couple of times, that too less than two minutes on both the occasions. “Discipline is the key. Once achieved the rest will fall in line,” he said to hundreds of young shuttlers during his brief interaction session during inaugural of Chetan Anand Badminton Academy. Mr. Arif had mentored Olympians and internationals such as P. Gopichand, Chetan Anand, P.V.V. Lakshmi, Saina Nehwal, Jwala Gutta, Shurti Kurien and J.B.S. Vidyasagar.
Q : Any fond memories of Vijayawada?
A : I was witness to former all England champion Prakash Padukone losing to Syed Modi in the senior Nationals here. I was also part of a couple of national camps.
Q . Your assessment of the present Indian badminton?
A: We are not doing well in doubles. We need to build strong doubles teams in men’s, women’s and the mixed categories.
...Q: Your take on exclusive doubles tournament which is being conceived by BAI?
A: It is a good move. The exclusive doubles tournament will provide the much-needed competitive edge and it will help coaches to assess the performances of the pairs in a critical manner.
...Q: How do you view the growth of badminton in AP and India?
A: We need at least eight more academies in Andhra Pradesh. The game is turning Hyderabad-centric. In India, the activity in North India is on the wane.
The region that produced players like Dinesh Khanna, Suresh Goel, Vikram Bisht and Ajay Kanwar is just a shadow of its past. May players from that region are coming to Hyderabad for training.
06-07-2013, 11:46 PM #383
The Saina Nehwal effect: shuttlecock storm
Kaustubh Rawat leaps like he’s got giant springs for feet, his arms reaching up and out as he hits the incoming shuttle with a whipped thwack that sends it stinging back across the net. Rawat lands lightly on his feet inside the training court in the sleek, spacious Siri Fort Badminton Stadium in New Delhi. A legacy of the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG), the stadium is now the regular venue for India’s top international competition, the Yonex-Sunrise India Open Super Series.
The competition courts are open to the public for an hourly fee when tournaments are not on, and the more compact set-up of warm-up courts is used through the year by the MV Bisht Badminton Academy. Run by former national champion and international player Madhumita Bisht and her husband and former player Vikram Bisht, the academy began operations barely a year ago, but is already so packed—120 young, talented players train here—that the coaches have a tough time managing the workload.
Children seeking admission are turned away on a regular basis.
Delhi’s Kaustubh Rawat, 14, is one of the many players hoping to benefit from badminton’s newfound popularity. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
“It’s maddening,” says Vikram. “We are refusing 30-40 kids a month.”
Rawat knows he is lucky he got in. He also knows he belongs here, in an elite training structure. The lean and athletic 14-year-old left his home in the small city of Kashipur, near Nainital in Uttarakhand, ayear back just to come here to train. In August 2012, a few months after joining the school, he won the Delhi state championship in the under-15 category. The national championship is thenext target. “I want to make my career in badminton,” Rawat says. “I’m absolutely clear about it. That’s why I am here. All my focus is on the game.” Rawat did not have to seek admission—one of the coaches at the academy spotted him at a school tournament and asked him to relocate to Delhi and join the state-of-the-art facility. His parents agreed—“because they’ve been seeing Saina Nehwal for some time now,” Rawat says.
The MV Bisht Badminton Academy has almost everything Rawat needs to take his game to the next level—six international standard courts, six experienced and ambitious coaches and a physical trainer.
What’s better, the academy is not unique—it’s just one of the many privately run but government-supported badminton training centres that have cropped up across the country in the last five years. Delhi itself has four that have come up since 2011, including the United Shuttlers Badminton Academy run by Ajay and Manjusha Kanwar, both former internationals. With 180 students and eight coaches (three of whom are former internationals), and an affiliation with the country’s premier training centre, the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy, the Kanwars too are struggling to cope with the demand.
“There is no other sport apart from cricket that has the kind of infrastructure and coaching that badminton gets,” says Madhumita, who is a two-time Olympian, Asian and Commonwealth Games medallist, and holds the record of 28 national titles. “And the kind of exposure players are getting! In five years, we can be at a level we have never dreamed of.”
If India’s core group of senior players get to train through the year at the globally acclaimed Gopichand academy, the best junior players now train at the Babu Banarasi Das Badminton Academy in Lucknow, a massive complex dedicated to the sport and operational since 2008, under Indonesian coach Hendra Mulyono.
“We are very close to doing something big, something great, with badminton,” Gopi Chand, the former All-England champion and India’s chief coach, says. “But this last step is the toughest.”
A training session at the MV Bisht Academy in New Delhi. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
There are a string of interconnected reasons that have led to this badminton resurgence, though the nucleus of it remains Nehwal and her coach Gopi Chand.
Nehwal’s success on the international stage, beginning with her highly televised march to the 2008 Olympics quarter-final, triggered a domino effect—TV coverage for the sport increased in India, generating wide public interest, which in turn sparked investments and sponsorships for promising players and tournaments. Badminton was suddenly the sport of choice for thousands of young athletes in Mumbai, Pune, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Former players responded by opening academies or upgrading existing ones.
“The core reason we are producing so many good players is because of private centres,” says Dinesh Khanna, one of the two government observers for the sport. “Why do Gopi or Prakash (Padukone) work so hard for their academies? Because it’s their baby, it’s their labour of love. If they have to evolve, upgrade or learn from their mistakes, they can do it without seeking permission from anyone, and they can do it immediately.”
Khanna is also the first Indian player to have won an international medal in badminton—he grabbed the bronze at the 1966 Commonwealth Games, and now runs a grass-roots-level academy at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in Delhi.
The contrast is stark. “If you were a SAI (Sports Authority of India) centre,” Khanna says, “and a light went out of order, you might have to write to five different departments and wait for a week before it is replaced.”
Madhumita Bisht teaching the game at her academy. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Gopi Chand’s academy and its achievements have been well documented—operating from 2005, it has produced almost all of India’s international badminton champions since, including the two players ranked in the top 10 now—Saina Nehwal (world No.2), and Parupalli Kashyap (world No.10). There’s a queue of players being primed to break through next—P.V. Sindhu (already world No.11), Arundhati Pantawane (India’s No.1), Gurusai Dutt, B. Sai Praneeth, and H.S. Prannoy are all regulars on the international circuit. All of these players, except Nehwal, also made it to the quarter-finals of the 2013 India Open Super Series in April. They were joined by Ajay Jayaram (world No.28) and Anand Pawar from Bangalore’s Prakash Padukone Academy. That’s five men and two women in the quarter-finals, two of whom, Pawar and Sindhu, made it to the semi-finals, India’s best performance at the tier II tournament—and every one of these players learnt their craft at a private academy.
A new league
But it’s not all neglect and ineptitude from the government and Badminton Association of India (BAI). In fact, for a change, they are part of the transformation, chiefly by getting out of the way. Since 2009, the Gopichand academy is being used as the training centre for the Indian team, the only Olympic sport for which national camps are not held at SAI centres. The government largesse for badminton has seen significant jumps. The funding for players to compete in international tournaments went up from a meagre Rs.2 crore to Rs.6 crore in 2008 with the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games in mind. This was pushed up to Rs.8 crore in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics and increased again to Rs.12.2 crore post-Olympics.
“The average 100 days a year of national camp was increased to 305 days a year of camps and international tournaments,” Khanna says. “What is really amazing, that this budget and time frame has not been reduced after the CWG. Effectively, the international players are now professionals, they have to do nothing else but play the game.”
Prakash Padukone. Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint
BAI has also taken concrete steps to exploit the popularity of the sport. They appointed an experienced sports marketing and media rights company, Sporty Solutionz, to take over the marketing for the 2013 Indian Open, held from 23-28 April at the Siri Fort Badminton stadium in New Delhi. The tournament witnessed full houses every day.
“I don’t think the India Open has ever seen so many spectators,” Gopi Chand said after the tournament. “There were big crowds even on qualifying days. I met people who had travelled from other parts of India just for the tournament.
Like Vasanth Bharathi, a 41-year-old IT manager from Chennai who brought his entire family—wife and two daughters—and watched the full tournament.
BAI also managed to grab the hosting rights for the tier 1 2014 Thomas Cup and Uber Cup, badminton’s biggest tournaments after the World Championships, for the first time.
Badminton World Federation secretary general Thomas Lund, who flew to New Delhi for the India Open, calls the development of the game in India “amazing”. “Our statistics tell us that badminton is the third most watched sport on TV here (after cricket and football),” Lund says. “There has been rapid development, and a lot of it is connected to Saina Nehwal’s popularity.”
Sporty Solutionz will also launch an ambitious new badminton league in August. The Indian Badminton League, or IBL, hopes to shake up the experience of watching the game, much like the Indian Premier League (IPL) did with cricket, by injecting unprecedented amounts of money, a little bit of Bollywood shine, and city-based team loyalties. The 18-day league will see six city franchise teams, each with 11 players (four of whom can be foreigners), playing each other in singles, doubles, and mixed-doubles fixtures across cities, with the final in Mumbai. The $1 million (around Rs.57 crore) prize fund is the largest ever offered in the sport.
Sporty Solutionz says the only way to have a chance of success with a new league like this is to pull out all the stops right from the start. “The best players from around the world, new technology in TV coverage, a carnival atmosphere at the venues, and things like the IBL school programme where players will hold workshops in schools,” says Manish Kumar, vice-president of events and public relations at Sporty Solutionz.
Hyderabad, Mumbai, Lucknow, Pune, Delhi and Bangalore will have teams, and the franchise owners of all six were decided through a bidding process in January. The names of the owners are yet to be officially disclosed. The names of the sponsors haven’t been made public either, though Kumar says that close to Rs.180 crore has been raised for the league from 18 different sponsors. “We’ve got a high-profile TV partner as well,” Kumar says, “and what I can say right now is that it is the biggest media rights sold for a sport, after cricket.” The IBL will also be broadcast in Japan and South-East Asia, parts of Europe and North America.
“Frankly we are looking at Asia,” Kumar says. “This is not just about Indian cities, we are in talks with the national associations of the 12 top badminton-playing countries to promote the league.”
Badminton is popular in China, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia, where most of the world’s top players come from, and which promise vast, untapped markets.
“It really is like cricket—before the IPL started, Australia, South Africa, they were the big performers on the field, but the game wasn’t growing there,” Kumar says. “Similarly, the game might be dominated by China and Malaysia, but the market for it is growing faster in India. With all due respect, we’ve waited for these countries to take the lead and make the game a commercial success, and now we are ready to take the initiative.”
The IBL, though, has been postponed once this year, and there is talk that potential sponsors and team owners are dithering because they believe that beyond Nehwal, badminton does not have enough marketing potential.
Time is on India’s side, for the moment. China dominates the game on the world stage, but for most other countries, there has been a downward slide.
“Some of the best male players like Taufik Hidayat (Indonesia) or Lin Dan (China) are retiring or not playing,” Vikram says.
“Indonesia, Malaysia, Denmark, they are not the powers they used to be. The race is now between Thailand and us to take these places. The game is wide open.”
Kashyap says the opportunity has to be seized quickly. “We have only two world-class training centres, and we need at least two-three more right now. The SAI centres don’t have coaches or systems for international-level players, and a new academy, even if it’s the best in the world, will need five-six years to start showing results.”
The lack of coaches is a problem acknowledged across the board.
“Coaching should be a well-paid job,” says Padukone, the 1980 All England Champion whose 18-year-old centre was the first world-class private academy in India. “And we’ve never thought of coaching the coaches.”
The first step to rectify that was taken this year when BAI organized a month-long skills-upgradation programme for coaches.
Back at the Bisht academy, Rawat’s session comes to an end. He looks exhausted and happy. “If I don’t come for training, my day feels boring and pointless,” he says. “I was at the India Open this year watching the games. The crowds were so loud, it was fantastic. Maybe in a few years I’ll be on the court playing, trying to shut off the noise of the crowd.”
06-09-2013, 07:50 AM #384
The elder brother of K.Srikanth , K.Nandagopal has taken XD title of Maldives International today along with K.Maneesha . Twin surprise for a single family now.. This will be happy news for their parents ..
06-09-2013, 12:44 PM #385
Very interesting articles... I do agree that top East Asian athletes are very explosives but not general social players. I think there must be explosives Indian players out there wait to be discover... Maybe these explosive Indians are playing cricket
06-09-2013, 04:31 PM #386
06-13-2013, 09:30 PM #387
Indian team for Jr Asian badminton named
NAGPUR: The strong 16-member Indian junior team will compete in the Asian Youth U-19 Badminton Championship. The eight-day long annual tournament, organized by the Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC), will be played from July 7 to 14 at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
The mixed team championships for Suhandinata Cup - on the lines of Sudirman Cup for seniors - will be played from July 7 to 10, while the individual events will get underway on July 11.
Although, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) is yet announce the team officially, the BAI has already sent the list of entire 16-member squad to the organizers before the deadline expired on June 11.
Besides naming eight boys and eight girls for the team events, the BAI has also sent the list of three more players - K Chaitanya Reddy, Santosh Ravuri, Riya Mukherjee - who will join the squad to play only the individual events. A strong pool of 19 players will compete for India in five disciplines for the individual glory.
According to sources, the BAI will shortly announce the support staff and the venue of the camp soon. It is learnt that the BAI will hold the week-long camp after the season's first All India junior ranking badminton tournament slated to be held at Hyderabad from June 23 to 29.
In the last couple of years, the Asian junior tourney has always given India new stars. PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma had done remarkably well to mark their arrival on the international scene. The present side is also capable of throwing some future stars thanks to the presence of quality players like Harsheel Dani, Aditya Joshi, Shlok Ramchandran, Ruthvika Shivani and K Maneesha.
Indian U-19 team
Harsheel Dani, Aditya Joshi, Arun George, Arsalan Naqvi, Shyam Prasad, Shlok Ramchandran, Sanyam Shukla, Vinay Kumar Singh, Ruthvika Shivani, Rituparna Das, Reshma Karthik, Shreyanshi Pardeshi, J Meghana, K Maneesha, S Poorvisha Ram, Kuhoo Garg.
06-30-2013, 12:04 AM #388
Gopichand masters ‘student’ Saina
Gopi was seen at his best as he came up with his trademark jump smashes and some delectable backhand flicks
It was a ‘guru dakshina’ with a difference! Dronacharya and former All England champion Pullela Gopi Chand gave glimpses of his vintage days when he got the better of London Olympics bronze medallist and his most famous trainee Saina Nehwal in an exhibition singles match at the Film Nagar Cultural Centre here on Saturday.
The event organised, along with mixed doubles contest – featuring Parupalli Kashyap and P.V. Sindhu v/s Gopi Chand and Saina Nehwal – was perhaps a fitting tribute the organisers, led by FNCC sports committee chairman and APBA vice-president V. Chamundeswarnath, could have paid to two truly outstanding champions.
It also presented a chance for all those who have not seen Gopi at his best as he came up with his trademark jump smashes and some delectable backhand flicks. A smiling Saina was often forced to acknowledge the ‘master’ when the latter held the centre-stage with his agility and skills even at the age of 39. Easy winners There were quite a few occasions when Gopi did set up some easy winners with an open forecourt for his ‘trainee’ because as the game progressed his ageing body got the better of him. But that he emerged a 15-14 winner in a close encounter could be another ‘special’ moment where he could have re-assessed Saina’s game in real match situation.
When Kashyap and Sindhu clinched the duel against Gopi and Saina 22-20, it was perhaps symbolic of the young brigade’s readiness to take a cue from the indefatigable ‘guru’. The net dribbles featuring Kashyap and Gopi and the half-smashes of Saina to counter the tall Sindhu were a treat to watch.
In the final singles exhibition match, Kashyap defeated Sindhu 15-10 in another interesting clash. The fab four of Indian badminton and Hyderabad’s pride were also rewarded with a prize money of Rs.2 lakh by the sponsor Kesoram Cements.
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Last edited by scorpion1; 06-30-2013 at 12:08 AM.
07-14-2013, 10:46 AM #389
Subhankar Dey: Home is where badminton is
For a 19-year-old who ran away from home to pursue badminton, to breaking into the country’s top-ten, Subhankar Dey’s has been an impressive and unusual journey. The recent Kenya International victory hasn’t come a moment too soon for the Kolkata lad.
“It wasn’t easy,” says Subhankar about the Kenya International win late last month. “It was my first international win. I was about to lose in the second round; it was a long match. The quarterfinals and final were tough too.”
The second round win over J Adamu of Nigeria took an hour and 14 minutes, with the Indian eventually triumphing 22-20 19-21 21-14. The final against Gideon Babalola was also close, but Subhankar triumphed in straight games 21-19 21-19. The win has seen him rise to a career-best No.112 – not so bad for a 21-year-old who was ranked below 1000 last year. The rise in rankings has followed healthy performances even before the Kenya International win – he reached two finals, at Iraq and Uganda. What’s noteworthy is that Subhankar has funded his own travels internationally. Although he has a small scholarship from HPCL, he’s financially dependent on his elder sister.
Subhankar has never had it easy. Brought up by his mother and elder brother (he lost his father when he was just a year old), his interest in badminton was fostered by his sister, who would drive him one-and-a-half hours for his coaching sessions under Laltu Guha. His family was keen on him getting a regular job, and so Subhankar decided to leave Kolkata and join his sister in Thane. “I was 19; I didn’t tell my elder brother or mother. I told my elder sister, so she told me to come to Thane. When my elder brother found out, he told me not to return to Kolkata. I was ranked 18 in India at that time.”
Subhankar consulted fellow Bengal player and India international Jishnu Sanyal, who was training in Thane. Sanyal told him not to worry, and Subhankar began training with coach Srikanth Vad. “Vad sir was very helpful,” Subhankar recalls. “He didn’t charge any money for the training.”
Three months after that, Subhankar lost close matches against the gifted Sai Praneeth in the quarterfinals of tournaments in Bangalore and Chandigarh, which helped him get an HPCL scholarship. He has also acquitted himself well against some of India’s top players, with wins over the likes of Sameer Verma, Rohit Yadav and Chetan Anand. Two years ago, he relocated to Bangalore under well-known coach Tom John as there were no quality sparring partners in Thane. “I was performing well, and I thought this (Bangalore) would give me a better chance,” says Subhankar. “I talked to Tom Sir in Srinagar, and he said I could train with him. I forgot everything and just came.”
His coach Tom John believes Subhankar has the potential to be top-30 in the world. “He’s very fit and strong,” says John, who’s renowned as a hard task-master. “He’s prepared to work hard, as much as required. He’s done well so far, and has improved a lot since last year. He can be top-20 or top-30; he wants it badly. Physically, he’s okay. But he’s not a great thinker and he has to work hard for his results. He needs to improve his game at the net, and learn to play different players. Learning rally construction and developing intelligence takes time. He has to catch up a bit because he was neglected in the past.”
John believes that players from the smaller academies find it difficult to catch the eye of sponsors or potential employers. “I hope he gets a job soon,” John says. “His family is not able to support him, and that adds to the pressure.”
Subhankar’s immediate goals are to break into the world’s top-70 this year and to make the finals of All India tournaments. “In India, I have been beating Sameer Verma, Chetan Anand, Rohit Yadav… I think I have the ability to enter the top-5 in India,” he says. “We’re all working hard. I need to become strong mentally. I need to think and play.”
This is one of the examples which i wanted to mention here that how difficult to play a sport in a country like India.. Nobody in the family will encourage you unless you are gifted or any one of the parent likes the sports. I need to praise subhankar dey for his guts to come out of home to pursue a sport as his career without any background support and job.. Really marvellous .
The worst part of the news is that he can't return back to his home because of his brother's rejection (Anyway, thanks to his sister for supporting him)..
With all these negatives, he still was able to get an international title recently.. Hats off to you man..
Work hard.. This is the success mantra ... All the very best subhankar..
Last edited by scorpion1; 07-14-2013 at 10:56 AM.
07-26-2013, 02:34 AM #390
Badminton chaos: 200 matches in a day, play goes on till 4 in the morning
The situation is so bad that parents have had to wake their kids up in the middle of the night to play matches. Referees meanwhile, have had to work for close to 20 hours.
The problem of plenty is generally not a problem in sports. It gives a coach bigger pool of players to choose from. But here's an instance where it turned out to be a huge problem, at the sub-junior badminton nationals, being held in Durgapur in West Bengal.
Aggression should be seen on court, and not off it. Administrators and parents though, have been at loggerheads at the ongoing sub-junior badminton nationals in West Bengal. The reason being odd scheduling, with matches going on for over 19 hours in a day. The reason? Too many participants and too few courts.
"We've waited for hours between matches. There are matches happening till 2-3am in the morning.. Nobody's telling when the matches are. Sometimes they say report at 2, sometimes at 3," a player named Abhay told NDTV.
An angry father blasted the way the nationals were being organised.
"Yeh saare saare andhe hai (All these people are blind)... na yeh kuch dekh rahe hai, na kuch sun rahe hai, khaali baithe hai (Neither they are seeing anything nor listening to us, just sitting idle)... koi marzee aao koi marzee jao, koi marzee jeeto koi marzee haaro inko koi matlab nahi hai is baat se (It does not matter to them whether someone comes, goes, wins or loses)," he said.
More than 200 matches are being squeezed in daily as there are over 600 participants. However the lack of planning doesn't seem to bother those, who've planned the event. An organiser put the blame squarely on the kids.
"This is happening everywhere maybe these kids are playing for the first time," he said.
The situation is so bad that parents have had to wake their kids up in the middle of the night to play matches. Referees meanwhile, have had to work for close to 20 hours.
Pullela Gopichand, one of India's badminton greats and All England Open Badminton Championships winner from 2001, is of the view that the number of entries has increased many folds which is creating the problem.
"When we played, not even 8 entries were there.. There were even chances of cancellations at the Nationals. It is a problem that has arisen because of the huge number of entries, this was not the case even 2 years back," said Gopichand.
With the launch of a new ambitious Indian Badminton League, the numbers are likely to go up. The question now is whether the Badminton Association of India will be willing to take note of this and improve infrastructure and planning for the grassroot level.
07-28-2013, 07:39 AM #391
Sai Praneeth swaggers to V V Natu title
Top seed and pre-tournament favourite B Sai Praneeth lived up to his top billing by beating second seed and Thailand Grand Prix champion
K Srikanth in straight games to lift the men's singles title in the V V Natu Memorial Amanora All India Senior Badminton tournament.
World number 39 Sai Praneeth, playing despite an injured ankle, had a perfect game plan to counter the aggressive Srikanth to clinch the summit clash 21-17, 21-18 in 50 minutes.
The women's singles final between P C Thulasi and National Champion Sayali Gokhale proved to be a damp squib as Gokhale had to retire hurt with an injured sole while trailing 1-5.
That meant that the sizeable crowd at the PE Society's PDMBA complex seemed to pin their hopes on the men's finals. Sai Praneeth and Srikanth did not disappoint, dishing out an entertaining match.
With both players knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each other's game, both resorted to long rallies with an eye for an opening from where they could capitalise. It was Sai Praneeth's dominance on the net exchanges that ultimately decided the champion.
Mixed day for Ashwini
In the doubles section, Olympian Ashwini Ponnappa had a mixed outing with the world championship bronze medallist winning the women's doubles crown but had to suffer a setback in the mixed doubles encounter.
Partnering Pradnya Gadre, Ashwini got the better of third seeds Aparna Balan and N Sikki Reddy 21-9, 13-21, 21-17 in the women's doubles.
However, in the mixed doubles, the combination of Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya came back from a game down to upset Ashwini and K Tarun 9-21, 21-18, 21-14.
The men's doubles crown went to Manu Atri and Sumeeth Reddy. The duo defeated K Tarun and Arun Vishnu 21-12, 21-14 in the title clash.
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